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The Spiderwick Chronicles (Widescreen Edition)

Kids & Family movie directed by Mark Waters

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Amazing Graces

  • Nov 15, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+4
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS)

1. Helen Grace moves into the Spiderwick Estate with her three kids, Mallory, Simon and Jared. Simon and Jared are twins (played by the impressive Freddie Highmore)
2. It doesn't take the kids long to find a secret room, a locked chest and a book marked "Do NOT read"
3. You can guess what happens next
4. Up pops a tiny Brownie named Thimbletack (Martin Short) who changes into a Boggart when riled up.
5. He gets riled up a lot
6. There's an evil Ogre named Mulgarath (Nick Nolte) who commands an army of Goblins, and really, really wants the aforementioned book
7. The Ogre can change his appearance, and is at his most frightening when he looks like Nick Nolte.
8. During the machinations and shenanigans to protect the book, the kids meet a scene stealing Hobgoblin named Hogsqueal (Seth Rogen) who has a talent for expectorating and a penchant for bipedal, endothermic vertebrate animals that lay eggs (also known as birds)
9. The kids set off on a quest to find the author of the book, Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn)
10. When they get back, they have to quickly work out a strategy for repelling Goblins and an Ogre who looks like the Grinch on steroids.
11. Exciting yet somewhat disturbing altercation ensues
12. Just desserts are served for the grand finale.


The movie is based on the five books that make up The Spiderwick Chronicles, but barely touches book three, Lucinda's Secret and never touches book four, The Ironwood Tree. There are a few small differences, but for the most part the movie captures the spirit of the series.

Relatively short, it's ideal for kids from around ten or so, as there are some mildly scary scenes and one close to the end that could be disturbing until the twist is revealed.

It's also recommended that you get the series for your young `uns. The books are short, easy to read and full of magical and fantastical adventures. Don't forget the follow-up The Nixie's Song (Beyond The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1), and the soon to be released A Giant Problem (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles)


The Field Guide (The Spiderwick Chronicles)
The Seeing Stone (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2)
The Wrath of Mulgarath (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 5)




Amanda Richards

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February 01, 2009
It doesn't hurt any that John Sayles contributed to the film's screenplay. You might like his film THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, although its for somewhat older children, if its really for children at all. Sayles' participation in the film was probably responsible for David Strathairn's appearance as the father in the last part of the film. The two of them have worked together from the start. He starred in Sayles' film MATEWAN about union organizing in the West Virginia coal mines. My daughter's twins liked this film a lot SPIDERWICK, that is.
 
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More The Spiderwick Chronicles reviews
review by . September 28, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Another fantasy movie starring white kids; seems that Hollywood is running out of ideas. Luckily this movie makes up with great execution and original special effects. I have never read the book that inspired this movie, but it must be good.    The storyline is simple enough, a divorced mother takes her twin sons and daughter to a house in the countryside that was owned by her aunt. There, the children discover a world of creatures of various shades of friendliness. Some of these …
review by . September 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
I have to say that I was generally surprised by this film as, although I'm not much of a Freddie Highmore fan I've seen most of and liked most of his movies. Spiderwick Chronicles I expected to be bad but I was again surprised and shouted "DAMN IT!" as I liked another one of his films. I so want to hate Highmores films but again and again he constantly gives us something great. I think it's time I get over my hate filled feelings and just say, "OK he's awesome, I admit it." Even doing an American …
review by . July 19, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Decent action at times      Cons: Story, pacing, acting, and general sloppiness      The Bottom Line: A kid 8 to 11 might enjoy it, but anyone older would likely turn it off or fall asleep.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. I look to young adult films the same way I look to young adult novels: when do the stories begin to move from the good versus evil to something where good and …
review by . June 28, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
A terrific tale for children, `The Spiderwick Chronicles' shows the plight of a NYC family moving into an old, decrepit house in the country while the children discover an ancient book that brings faeries, ogres, and sprites to life. Led by chief, Mulgarith (Nick Nolte), the ogres try to steal the chronicles from Simon, Jared, (both played by Freddie Highmore) and Mallory (Sarah Bolger) while Hogsqueal (Seth Rogen), a hideous changing forms leader, tries to destroy the children. Enchanting, transporting, …
About the reviewer
Amanda Richards ()
Ranked #38
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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Wiki

A very good adaptation of the popular series of books by Tony DiTerllizi and Holly Black,The Spiderwick Chroniclesis one of the few family films in recent years to seamlessly integrate magical elements with a potent drama that will strike a chord with many kids. An exceptionally talented Freddie Highmore (August Rush) plays twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, caught up in a sad shock from their parents' divorce and coping with a decision by their mother (Mary-Louise Parker) to uproot the boys and their sister, Mallory (Sarah Bolger), from New York City to a small town. There, the broken family moves into a spooky old mansion passed on to them by the kids' great-aunt, Lucinda (Joan Plowright), who is spending her twilight years in managed care and whose scientist father, Arthur Spiderwick (David Strathairn), disappeared some 80 years ago. Jared, angry, defiant, and determined to live with the father who seems to have abandoned him, investigates strange happenings and discovers Arthur's secret notations on fairies, ogres, and other mythical creatures that live both in and outside the house. Having no idea where his curiosity is leading, Jared soon finds that he and his family are under siege from goblins and a powerful ogre (Nick Nolte) who wants Arthur's notebook. Suddenly, the boy who is a lightning rod for a troubled family becomes a resourceful warrior intent on saving his loved ones from powerful forces.The Spiderwick Chroniclesbenefits enormously from a ...
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Details

Director: Mark Waters
DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Paramount
First to Review

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